Soil sustains all life on earth. Unfortunately this vital resource is being depleted rapidly. Mankind must take instant and strong steps to conserve soil.
Soil is made up of organic and mineral matter that sustains plant life and shelters organisms responsible for nutrient cycling
What are the different types of soil?
There are different types of soil. They are as follows:
Clay – This soil is smooth and silky. Sandy soils – It contains tiny amounts of quartz and silica and less than 10% clay. Loamy – This soil is a mixture of sand and clay with varying proportions. Calcareous or chalky soils – This soil may contain limestone or chalk and very little plant food. Peat soil – This soil is usually found in marshy land and is a source of fuel. It contains more than 20% humus.
Plants and trees hold the soil together. When plants and trees are cut down the soil becomes loose and is carried away by wind and water. When it rains heavily the rainwater cannot penetrate the soil and the rainwater carries the soil particles away. This is known as soil erosion. Common types of erosion are gully erosion, rill erosion, sheet erosion and rain-splash erosion. The Grand Canyon in America was formed by soil erosion. There is more erosion on steep slopes and it also depends on the type of the soil
Some ways to conserve soil are as follows:
- Use rotational grazing. There is a short grazing period followed by a rest period of longer duration. Grazing is done when the farm is still in the vegetative stage. This prevents crops from being totally eaten away.
- Change the plant species on your farm. Don’t use tilling, instead use herbicides to kill the existing plants.
- Cover the entire soil with plants, which will significantly reduce erosion.
- Along with the plants it’s important to water soil, which keeps it damp and makes it settle down.
- Don’t cultivate soils on steep slopes. Do terrace farming.
- You can construct wind barriers at the boundaries of the farm. This will prevent wind from blowing away the soil.
- Add humus to your soil. It will prevent soil erosion.
- Keep grassed waterways to drain out storm water.
- To fight storm water, use structures made of natural materials. Use logs or collection of large stones instead of cement and concrete. Natural resources are more effective and inexpensive.
- Plant strips of grass, trees or shrubs between water and cropland. It prevents surface movement of fertilizers, pesticides and soil. Strips cause increased runoff of water into soil. There is increased denitrification, in which microbes convert nitrate-nitrogen into gas form that dissipates to the atmosphere. It decreases the amount of nitrate available to move into groundwater and surface water supplies. They absorb nutrients, sediment, and pesticides moving from adjoining cropland before they reach the water sources. The strip’s trees, grass or shrubs absorb the nutrients and pesticides.
- Farm taking into account the shape of the land. The small grooves and channels that you fashion play the role of dams, trapping runoff water, sediment, nutrients, and pesticides, and pushing them along graded crop rows to outlets such as grassed waterways.
So we see that there are a number of simple and effective ways by which we can conserve soil. Only a global and earnest effort can save this life sustaining resource. So do take the necessary steps and fulfill your obligation towards your planet.
Article Source: sooperarticles.com/technology-articles/ways-conserve-soil-333.html
Author: Nazish Khuram